It’s not likely that former Toyota exec Jim Press wishes he had been called down to congress instead of Jim Lentz, but he may just be trying to angle for a return his old company. Press took time out of his busy schedule of job-hunting and worrying about taxes to write an (apparently unsolicited) email to Automotive News [sub]. Judging by the portions that AN [sub] did publish, it should probably have gone straight to Toyota’s CEO… or the shredder.
Toyota doesn’t want me to speak out, but I can’t stand it anymore and somebody has to tell it like it is. Akio Toyoda is not only up for the job, but he is the only person who can save Toyota. He is very capable, and he embodies the virtues and character that built this great company. The root cause of their problems is that the company was hijacked, some years ago, by anti-family, financially oriented pirates. They didn’t have the character necessary to maintain a customer first focus. Akio does.
As much as Akio appreciates a few kind words right now, Press’s mash note is a little tough to fathom. It’s hard to imagine anyone at Toyota thinking that Press would have been a better representative of Toyota’s US operations than Jim Lentz was. Especially considering Press pretty well torched his bridges back to Toyota, when as a bailout-begging Chrysler VP, he alleged that the Japanese government had footed “100 percent of the bill” for the Prius’s drivetrain development, a charge Toyota has vehemently denied and Press later retracted. But hey, there’s a fine line between love and desperation… and Toyoda seems like he could use a hug.